The City recognizes and celebrates a number of annual Indigenous events throughout the year.

Flags at City Hall

Sunrise Ceremony


On June 1, 2021, the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, proclaimed June as National Indigenous Peoples Month.

National Indigenous Peoples Month is a time to learn, reflect, and celebrate the diversity of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit across Tkaronto and all of Turtle Island.

National Indigenous Peoples Month reminds us to consider the unique needs of the Indigenous peoples in all of the work that we do. We must listen to their voices and stories and partner with them to help guide us in our work moving forward.

Throughout the month, all Canadians can learn about the history of the First Peoples and further embrace the opportunity to learn more about their identities. This month is also a time to celebrate the resilience of all Indigenous peoples, their vibrant and distinct cultures, and their beautiful languages. The City of Toronto encourages all residents to take time to educate themselves about Indigenous histories, strengths, and contributions.

Here are some ways to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Month:

  • Support Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses.

On Monday, June 21, 2021, the City of Toronto presented a virtual event to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, while following COVID-19 restrictions and public health guidance. It will coincide with a Sunrise Ceremony led by Elders Jimmy Dick and Marie Gaudet, which will not be filmed due to its sacred and personal nature.

Watch the 2021 virtual Sunrise Ceremony below.

The virtual National Indigenous Peoples Day event honours Indigenous traditions and culture, while providing an opportunity for community healing. It includes:

  • A virtual tour of the Sunrise Ceremony space, guided by Elders Jimmy Dick and Marie Gaudet who explain the importance of the ceremony and its traditions.
  • Song from hand drummer Folashade Kortee
  • A message from Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
  • Greetings from Mayor John Tory
The Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, proclaimed June 21, 2021 as National Indigenous Peoples Day. Read the Official Proclamation.

About Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day)

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD), formerly National Aboriginal Day. This is a day of cultural significance for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

The City of Toronto has been raising the Indigenous flags since before amalgamation in 1998, in 2017 the City had the Indigenous flags permanently installed on Nathan Phillips Square. In the past we have marked the day around a sacred flame, strawberries, water and the use of sage for cleansing followed by the Mayor’s proclamation and presentation to a representative as well as the involvement of treaty partners.

Sunrise ceremony
2019 Sunrise Ceremony

On November 16, the City of Toronto recognizes Louis Riel Day. Louis Riel is remembered as a great Métis leader, a founder of confederation, a political and spiritual leader and an advocate for minority rights.

We recognize Louis Riel’s contribution to Métis communities and acknowledge the contributions the Métis make to Toronto. The City is committed to supporting Indigenous communities and to working together toward fulfilling Louis Riel’s vision and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people.

Read the Louis Riel Day Proclamation.

View a video message from Mayor John Tory about Louis Riel Day.




The Mino Bimaadiziwin Award (Indigenous Award) was established in 2003 as part of the Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards. This award will be given to a person(s) or organization whose volunteer efforts have made or are making a significant or ongoing contribution to the well-being and advancement of the Indigenous community in Toronto.